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September 6, 2021

New Podcast Explores Neuroscience and Art

FLOAT from Mary Sweeney and Jonas Kaplan Covers Narrative and Dreamscapes

The USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences share a long history of exploring consciousness and the human experience from different points of view. Beginning September 5th, the podcast FLOAT from Mary Sweeney, the Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Chair in American film and Jonas Kaplan, from the Brain Creativity Institute and Co-Director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center, will shine a light on how science and art are closer than many people would expect. The podcast is supported by a grant from the USC Provost’s program for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

“FLOAT evolved out of my interest in neuroscience research into the brain and creativity, specifically developments in the study of narrative. I sometimes struggled to articulate my creative process to my students and I wanted to understand it better.”

In 2011, Sweeney created a course at SCA called Dreams, the Brain and Storytelling to explore the cinematic dreamscape. She reached out to Kaplan to lecture in her class and the two realized they were asking many of the same questions. They thought it would be interesting to talk with scientists and artists about their shared motivations and inspirations. FLOAT was born from Sweeney and Kaplan’s collaboration and friendship.

The Podcast will interview artists and people from all walks of life to explore the mystery of human consciousness. 

“We’re truly honored to have been able to speak with such an accomplished group of guests that spans the worlds of cinema, neuroscience, music, technology, and the arts. We are excited for people to listen to these creative minds discuss what they have in common despite the diversity of fields they work in.”

Link to Podcast: